Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Review - Camelea Like a Seagull

Camelea Like a Seagull
(Camelea #1)
by Frank Chaput & Suzanne Gohier
illustrated by Suzanne Gohier
Date: 2013
Publisher: Camelea inc.
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 24
Format: e-book
Source: Kobo

After a great birthday celebration for her brother, Camelea is too excited to sleep. Replaying the events of the day in her head, she finds a way to calm down. Camelea’s fantasy hairdo helps her fall asleep easily.

Using the power of her imagination, Camelea finds within herself the confidence to face her fears. Her enthusiasm and resourcefulness are an inspiration to children as they learn to meet the challenges of everyday life.

Immerse yourself in the fantasy world of Camelea. Discover the ways she has found to build her confidence and feel good about herself.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I'm really not sure what to make of this. It's free, inoffensive, and colourful. It's also not that interesting.

The actual book really doesn't deliver what the blurb promises. Basically, Camelea is waiting for her brother's birthday party. She sees some flowers. Her mother braids her hair to resemble them. She sees a seagull and gets mesmerized by the waters of the lake. She dances at the party. There are fireworks. Everyone is too excited to sleep... so Camelea imagines that her hair is water.

Got that?

The "plot" (such as it is) is meandering and rather vague. The ending is trippy. And the whole thing reads as if we're dropped into the middle of the series, when this is actually the first book. Characters are just named, and you're supposed to figure out who they are. (I'm still not sure who Carl is. Uncle? Cousin? Who knows?)

The illustrations are... strange. There are drawings combined with photographic elements, and while the end result is colourful and not awful to look at, it also has a weird, surreal sort of quality, and all the characters look like Lilo from Lilo & Stitch. (I did like the illustration of all the boys in their sleeping bags, though. That was cute.)

Overall, this is probably a book I'll soon forget. It's not completely terrible, though, and it's free, so there's no harm in giving it a try.

Premise: 1/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 2/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2 out of 5

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